Survivor Australia is rigged but do we really care?


Producer of Survivor Australia exposed the show for being rigged, but it’s the unpredictable charming Aussie contestants that keep the show alive!

Australian Survivor has long been heralded as one of Australia’s favourite shows, and not just by the locals. You see, it’s not merely the producers’ dedication to upping the ante and setting the bar high for Survivor challenges that sets it apart, but also the scrappy, never-say-die attitude of the Aussie contestants who’ll stop at nothing to claim the title of Sole Survivor.

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The not-so-humble antics of these Aussie contenders have gifted us with countless reality TV gems, some of which, dare I say, might be a tad too spicy for American audiences. Remember when Abbey Holmes, professional AFL player, went full cheeky mode and twerked on Phoebe Timmins’ face while pinning her during a challenge? Even Phoebe couldn’t help but chuckle, “I have Abbey’s butt in my face; it’s all I can see.”

These unscripted moments are par for the course, according to a former Aussie Survivor contestant.

“So what if I accidentally moon half of Australia? When you’re playing Survivor, you have no choice but to throw caution to the wind. Your mind is set on one thing… winning… you don’t care that you’re on national TV.”

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But alas, as we’ve long suspected and dreaded, not everything on Australian Survivor is as unscripted as it seems. So Dramatic! has reported that the show is, in fact, rigged. Gasp! The winner is allegedly handpicked by the producers before the show even starts, with the crew tipping them off about immunity idol locations, when to play them, and even who to vote out next. So those blindsides we relish? Turns out they might just be the brainchild of the producers. Ugh, the betrayal!

“Producers deliberately rig challenges and idol locations to help the right people win,” a producer confessed. “For example, if someone has to hold a sandbag or something, they’ll make the person they want to win hold a lighter bag.” The audacity!

Network 10 has began casting Australian Survivor 2021
Survivor Australia is rigged but do we really care?

And yet, despite the scandal, Australian Survivor remains the top dog of reality TV. Studies show that it’s the most talked-about reality show on social media, with fans from all corners of the globe gushing over it. Perhaps it’s the undeniable charm of the hunky host, Jonathan LaPaglia, that keeps us coming back for more. Or maybe it’s those uncensored moments too hot for American TV that we mentioned earlier.

Most talked about show…

Social media has revealed that Survivor Australia, Married At First Sight, and The Block are the most talked-about reality TV shows. In 2022, one of the highlights was the return of Network 10’s Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, featuring both new and returning contestants competing alongside their loved ones. Although relatively controversy-free, viewers expressed annoyance on Twitter about the excessive use of frankenbiting, an editing technique that spliced different conversations together for narrative cohesion. Furthermore, our findings indicate that Australians have varied interests across states and territories when it comes to reality TV, with shows like Ninja Warrior and Love Island dominating specific regions.

Aussies have a long-standing love affair with popular shows like Survivor Australia and The Block. However, with the introduction of new reality TV genres and concepts in 2023, this relationship may change. Taskmaster Australia, an adaptation of the popular British comedy series, has already gained over 621,000 viewers in five major metropolitan cities. Building on this momentum, Masterchef Australia creators are introducing a spin-off series called Masterchef: Dessert Masters, premiering on Network 10’s streaming service, 10Play. Moreover, after a 14-year hiatus, Australian Idol has returned, and Aussies can expect new reality shows like FBOY Island Australia and The Challenge, offering fresh perspectives to the reality TV landscape.

Back on topic…

But if I’m being totally honest, I think what makes Australian Survivor one of the best reality TV shows out there is the everyday, lovable heroes it creates. Take Luke Toki, for instance, who skyrocketed from zero to hero and is now one of the most adored Aussie personalities, all thanks to the show.

Luke Toki - Survivor Australia 2017
Survivor Australia is rigged but do we really care?

Deep down, we all knew the show was rigged, but that’s not why we watch Australian Survivor. We’re drawn to the possibility that the underdog, the one even the producers didn’t bank on, might emerge from the shadows and snatch that coveted title of Sole Survivor. And that, my friends, is why we can’t get enough of this not-so-real reality show.

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